Digital Evangelism in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY – In today’s rapidly evolving world where digital platforms dominate our daily lives, the Oklahoma Conference is setting a new standard for reaching out to people with its innovative approach to digital evangelism. Through the power of repurposing sermons into short-form content, we are breaking down barriers and connecting with individuals on a level that transcends traditional boundaries.
At the forefront of this digital revolution is Oklahoma Conference Communication Director Wes Via and Hope Adventist Fellowship of Moore. Hope Fellowship has embraced the concept of repurposing its sermons, taking excerpts from live-streamed services and turning them into bite-sized, engaging clips. The result? A staggering increase in engagement and outreach.
The turning point came when Hope Fellowship took its first leap into short-form content creation. The full, live-streamed service had 97 views—church members were pretty excited until they realized the average watch time was only three minutes. However, when the messages were repurposed and shared as short-form reels on digital platforms, the clips reached an astonishing 30,000 views, a testament to the potential of digital evangelism. The excitement of reaching so many local Oklahomans with the Gospel is what moved the Oklahoma Conference to put together a strategy that will help churches across Oklahoma do this same thing!
In preparation for the 2024 Southwestern Union Evangelism focus in Oklahoma City, three churches are applying this new form of digital evangelism: Edmond Seventh-day Adventist Church, Oklahoma City Central Seventh-day Adventist Church and Hope Fellowship. Here’s what we’ve seen for these short-sermon reels: In a week’s time in these three churches, the reels were played over 19,000 times. In just four months’ time, the reels have been viewed 400,000 times. Maybe you’re thinking, “It’s nice that people are watching online, but they are missing out on the connection! How are we going to get them in the church doors and into our church community?” Just keep reading!
These three churches in the heart of Oklahoma City have teamed up with Justin Khoe and Advent Co.Lab to create their digital content. Advent Co.Lab takes those soul-stirring moments from sermons and gives them a digital makeover. Once posted, our conference communication team analyzes the social metrics and then we increase social media ads. These powerful snippets, like golden nuggets of wisdom, are popping up on social media feeds, asking a simple yet profound question: How can we pray for you? It’s like extending a virtual hand, creating a bridge from the viewer’s screen to a church member’s heart.
This is done by leveraging a social platform’s ability to track user engagement. When a person watches 50 percent or more of a reel, we place posts in their feed that offer to pray for them and invite them to church.
Now, our pastors, prayer coordinators and other volunteers in these churches have the opportunity to pray over complete strangers who may not have anyone else praying for them. Prayer is a huge, felt need and we are meeting this need for complete strangers who are asking for prayer through this digital platform. The ultimate goal is to bring virtual connections into the physical realm, welcoming individuals who have been touched by the digital content to experience the warmth and fellowship of in-person church services.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the Oklahoma Conference’s dedication to innovation and reaching people where they are sets a promising precedent for the future of evangelism. It’s about building bridges, not just between people, but between hearts and the divine. It’s about creating a ripple effect that can’t be measured in dollars but can be felt in the lives changed and souls touched. Is your church ready to make an impact for the Kingdom?
Is your church ready to get started? Email the communication department for a consultation at Communication@okadventist.org.
By Ashley Alipoon
Assistant to Comm. Director